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I’ve just had what feels like a Gideon experience. God asked Gideon to lead 300 Israelite soldiers into battle against the Midianites and the Amalekites, whose armies are described in Judges 7:12, as “as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as numerous as the sand on the seashore” (NASB).
Whittling down the size of his army, the Lord explained to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, ‘My own power has delivered me.’” (Judges 7:2 NASB)
I spent a month over the Christmas period preparing for a job interview. I read loads of books, watched endless useful stuff on YouTube, researched the organisation in question, even had my kids test me on the facts and figures I had learned the night before the interview, but I did not get the job. Last Friday week I had a phone call inviting me to “an informal chat” about a locum job the following Monday. I was heading off down to London immediately after this meeting to teach a four day course which I spent the weekend preparing for. So when I arrived for the interview, with only minutes to spare, I had barely given this locum post a thought. To my alarm, rather than the cosy chat I was expecting, the interview turned out to be a thorough grilling, for which I was hopelessly under-prepared. But guess what? I got the job.
I have been looking and applying for work for months. For each application in turn I have done loads of mugging up and then not got the job. It so makes me smile that, when God does decide it’s time for me to work again, He gives me the job in this way. Not the result of my cleverness or learning. Purely and simply the result of His kindness, love and grace. So I will start this job next week knowing that is it 100% God’s doing and remembering (I hope) to do what is required of me in His strength and not in my own.